i can’t say i buy flowers all that often. but i’ve always trusted ftd. they have always seemed to be a brand that stood for dependability, quality, freshness, stuff like that. i’ve never thought of them as a low price option, but that was never the point when i used them. i was probably using them a half dozen times per year, some of which were ys related, until we consolodated any “ys flower buying” into the capable hands of our hr person. so, these days, i probably only order – always online – about two times per year.
but yesterday, they showed me that their brand does not stand for what i thought it did — or, that it no longer stands for those things. in my massive excitement over my friends’ adoption, my wife and i wanted to immediately send a bouquet of “it’s a girl” balloons. it was critical to us that these arrived the same day — they very day our friends had received their news.
it was still before 9:30 in the morning when i placed the order, and the website confirmed same-day delivery. the automatic confirmation email also confirmed same-day delivery. when i placed the order, i almost didn’t input my contact phone numbers (i hate giving them out to businesses), but gave both work and cell to make sure there were no glitches.
late in the afternoon, i received a form email from ftd stating that they regretted that they couldn’t make my delivery today, and they it would be sent two days later. thank you very much.
no option to cancel. no, “boy, we really screwed you on this one and made sure you couldn’t order from a provider that could actually meet your very simple expectations.” and no phone calls, though the site said the phone calls were necessary in case they had a problem with my order.
i responded to the email, stating how frustrated i was, and asking them to cancel the order. no response. finally, i had to call to cancel the order. the woman i spoke with was friendly, but certainly wasn’t offering me anything to keep me as a customer.
so i’m gone. maybe ftd can generate enough internet orders these days that they don’t have to provide any kind of actual customer service in order to be profitable. or maybe they’ve made the ludicrous choice that they can’t afford customer service if they want to be profitable. certainly, they are making choices that will erode their brand.